Is Israel being SMART with COVID-19?

This past year has been a challenge for the whole world.  Covid-19 has changed the way we do business, socialize, educate ourselves, and made everyone aware of just how vulnerable we are to a microscopic virus. 

Here in Israel, like in the rest of the world, we have dealt with the virus by either totally shutting down the country or opening it up fully.  Neither of those strategies have worked in the long run.   The value of protecting our health has to be balanced against the economic loss caused by shutting down the economy of Israel. 

After the second wave pushed the numbers of people catching Covid-19 to thousands a day, the government of Israel instituted another lockdown followed by a gradual easing of restrictions if the numbers remained low.  This seems to me a smart move and embodies what the Talmud says, “Who is wise? One who sees the future.” The wise men of the Covid 19 committee have instituted a policy that seems to be working. 

Setting SMART goals

In coaching, the acronym SMART is used to formulate a goal that the client wants to reach. Let’s see if the goal of protecting the health of the citizens of Israel complies with SMART.

The “S” stands for specific.  The specific goal of the government’s policy is to bring down the numbers of coronavirus infections so that we can ‘live’ with the virus.  It is understood that we cannot eradicate this disease completely.  It is highly contagious so the best we can do is to contain it.  That is the specific goal and the corona virus committee is working hard to reach it. 

The second letter of the acronym SMART IS “M” – measurable. We can definitely measure the number of new cases of Covid-19, the number of people who recovered, and those who have died.  And the numbers are very promising.  The number of new cases on September 30th was 9,078 and 35 deaths and on November 12th it was 613 new cases and only 11 deaths.  That is a huge drop.  

The third letter is “A” for achievable.  Given the circumstances of large numbers of people living together in large cities, children going to school, and employees working together, can the goal of reducing the numbers of new cases be achieved?  The answer seems to be yes.  Using the internet, employees can often work from home, children can learn in virtual classrooms, and friends can visit via Skype or Zoom calls.  These strategies may not be optimal, especially when it comes to the education of small children, but it does work in the short term to serve the goal of reducing the numbers. 

“R” is for relevant.  Is this goal relevant to us? Does it matter?  The Covid-19 virus has turned the whole world upside down, overloaded health services, crippled economies, and caused mental stress to millions of people.  Here in Israel, the virus has put many people out of work and isolated family members from each other.  Curing this virus is the most important goal we have to reach right now.  Research into treatment protocols has greatly reduced the number of fatalities and a vaccine in on the way to us in the near future.  

“T” is for timely or timebound. We have come a long way since the virus first hit last January. Hospitals and research teams have worked tirelessly to find a treatment that works and develop a vaccine that can prevent us from getting it in the first place.  Last May, The Israel Institute for Biological Research made important discoveries in the treatment and prevention of the Coronavirus.  And the Prime Minister has announced that the international drug giant Pfizer is ready to supply vaccines to Israel starting in January of next year.  

Is a resolution in sight?

The goal of solving the Covid-19 riddle has not yet been reached, but we are well on the way.  The numbers of new cases is down, schools and businesses are opening up again and slowly we are getting back to ‘normal’.  If we are SMART, by 2021, we will have reached the goals of health and prosperity and that all the people of the world will realize that we are all one family and what affects one of us can affect all of us. 

Mendel Weinberger is a life coach who helps men discover their inner strengths and reach their health, career, and social goals. He lives in Jerusalem. Mendel can be reached at https://kavanacoaching.com/

About the Author
I made aliya from Boston in 1983 and have lived in Jerusalem ever since. I currently teach English to Israeli adults and in addition, I am a life coach who works with male clients helping them to reach their health, career, and social goals. I live in Jerusalem and have six children and eight grandchildren.
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